The government of Ghana has signed a concession deal to build a $2.6bn light rail system in Accra with the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) Africa Investment SkyTrain Consortium (Ai).
The signing was carried out during the 2019 Africa Investment Forum, a conference organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) that took place in Johannesburg last week. It followed the agreeing of a memorandum of understanding between the parties last November and the recent conclusion of a feasibility study.
"It’s a great day for Ghana!" said Ghanaian president Nana Akufo-Addo, according to the AfDB. "I was here last year and I’m back this year to make sure the project moves forward. This proves how important the Africa Investment Forum is. The signing of this agreement is on track to improve the lives of our citizens."Â
The Accra SkyTrain will be an elevated, air-propelled monorail system, billed as the first of its kind in Africa.
It is being developed by the GIIF and Ai, which is made up of two South African concerns, construction holding company Wilson Bayly Holmes Ovcon and developer Bunengi Group, as well as Ai Capital, the investment and financing arm of the Ai Group.
Yofi Grant, the chief executive of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, said at the signing he was confident that the project would reach financial close by this time next year and that work on site would begin soon after.
He added "several parties" had expressed interest in funding the project through a combination of equity and debt.
Soloman Asamoah, the chief executive of the Ghanaian Infrastructure Investment Fund, said during last year’s signing that the project would be rolled out in phases, with the first covering 256km at a cost of $1.2bn.
He added that, once complete, the SkyTrain would move 380,000 out of Accra’s 6 million people a day.
Image: Ai SkyTrain Consortium’s rendering of the monorail